Apache Alaska Corp. has applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a wetlands permit for the construction of three gravel drilling pads and associated access roads in the northwestern Kenai Peninsula. The potential drilling sites are in Native owned land within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, close to the western coast of the peninsula, northeast of the Nikiski area.
Apache spokeswoman Lisa Parker told Petroleum News in a Dec. 19 email that, although Apache has not yet made a decision on whether to proceed with the drilling, the company is applying for permits to ensure that the permitting process is completed in time for any drilling to proceed.
"Apache is applying for the necessary permits needed to allow for exploration of oil and gas," Parker wrote. "While no decisions have been made it is critical to have all the permits in place."
Apache has been conducting an extensive program of seismic surveying in the Cook Inlet basin, including in the northern Kenai Peninsula. In 2012 and 2013 the company drilled an oil exploration well onshore the west side of the inlet, but met with disappointing results in that venture. Apache has said that it wants to use new, modern seismic data to identify new exploration targets in the basin.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in Dec. 28 issue, available online Friday, Dec. 26 at www.PetroleumNews.com